Place-Based Purpose

The Innovation and Education Campus

Collaborate with us for impact in food and agriculture.

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Farm Foundation is creating a unique campus in the Chicagoland area to establish a centrally located space for innovators in the food and agriculture industries from across the country to learn, debate, and work together as one to build a future for our farmers, our communities, and our world. The Innovation and Education Campus will be a place not just to identify and discuss challenges, but to accelerate the momentum and action needed to solve them. It is our goal to lead food and agriculture forward from this innovative, purposeful space.

More than ever, we need live, in-person collaboration supported by the latest technology to achieve tangible results and make the biggest impact. Agriculture is facing big challenges and we need to bring everyone to the table. We need all voices to come together—farmers, policy makers, researchers, educators, industry executives, and consumers—to craft workable solutions. Farm Foundation’s Innovation and Education Campus will be the go-to place for providing quality hybrid and in-person collaboration to the food and agriculture industries.

IEC Innovation Education Campus Design Less Glazing

This early conceptual design illustrates how the Innovation and Education Center intends to stay in dialogue with the campus’ landscape and historic barn structure, maintaining the vernacular element of the peaked roof and leveraging clear glass to amplify transparency and connection. Image credit: Kahler Slater

Our Mission Embodied in Place

The Innovation and Education Campus will be a state-of-the-art facility for supporting a variety of uses, including gathering program participants to collaborate; community building and engagement; connecting food and agriculture; accelerating learning through training, development and educational opportunities; content creation to engage with audiences digitally and in-person; providing unique and transformative event experiences that move people to action; and celebrating the Farm Foundation story, impact, and vision for the future.

Chicago

Real Impact Begins Here

With more than 400 active food companies calling Chicago home, food and agricultural innovation is the heartbeat of this region. By building the first and only integrated food and agriculture center in Chicagoland, we will create a platform for local, regional, national, and even international impact.

Where the Past and Future Meet

Farm Foundation will build the Innovation and Education Campus on part of the former Casey Farm in Libertyville, Illinois. Surrounded by the 5,000-acre Liberty Prairie Reserve, which includes 3,300 acres of protected land, this centennial farm is an ideal location to honor the history of farming in the region and create a space that continues to educate and inspire the community on the importance and potential of agriculture. This will include new local, national, and international programming on regenerative food and agriculture, experiential learning for young food and farm entrepreneurs, and accelerated training and educational opportunities in a fully tech-enabled space. The suburban Chicago location also provides ready access to major airports and transportation, making it easier for people from all over the world to convene and collaborate.

CaseyFarm
MicrosoftTeams-image (8)

Project Details

  • Preserved historic elements: existing barn, existing oak trees, cultural open space
  • New campus elements: Innovation and Education Center, amphitheater
  • Design Architect: Kahler Slater
  • Project Manager: JLL
  • Main Farm Foundation Contact: Todd Price, Vice President of the Innovation and Education Campus

Build With Us

IEC Timeline

This is a projected timeline. Farm Foundation closed on the property in April 2022. The project is currently in schematic design. 

Our history is long, but our future is just beginning! Our goal is to open the Innovation and Education Campus in time for the 90th anniversary of Farm Foundation. We are actively fundraising to support the design and construction of the Innovation and Education Campus. If you or your organization would like to support the Innovation and Education Campus, or if you have ideas for programs we could jointly deliver through this unique new space, please get in touch.